Dr Assefa (aka Asafa) Tefera Dibaba is a poet, educator and researcher. He is the author of anthologies of poems in English and Oromo including: Anaany’aa (1998, 2006), Edas-Edanas (1997), Finfi (Ilyaada) (2014), Decorous Decorum (2006), and The Hug (2011), and has published works of prose including Danaa (2000), Eela (2009), Theorizing the Present (2004, reprinted as Beyond Adversities, 2010). He first moved to the United States in July 2010 after receiving the Institute of International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund for the persecution he was facing in Ethiopia. He stayed in the United States to pursue a PhD at Indiana University (2011-2015). His recent research has focused on ethnoecology and ecopoetics, and his latest poetry collection is Symposia (2018).
In Oromo worldview, land and land resources are not just to be used but also to be revered and cared for. Unplanned urbanization and industrialization, coupled with the religious factor, have also left the human and physical environment a desolate “broken place,” which is an endangered sacred ecology.
The reclamation of the “broken places” is an ecopoetic act of ocial and ecological rescue out of the margins through a stewardship to regain control of, to recreate, and restore the place, and to provide a narrative of healing the historical and contemporary grief of loss.
Listen to Professor Assefa Terera Dibaba’s fantastic talk on broken places and orature.